Welcome Home Ava!

“I have a baby sister. Her name is Ava. She lives in an orphanage in China.”

Three of the greatest sentences of my life. This quote above, uttered countless times by our two very young biological children while we were in the process of adopting from China, was sweet music to my ears. Nothing prepared them better for the sudden addition of a 2-year-old to our family than just simply talking about it. Every day. All the time. Continue reading “Welcome Home Ava!”

The Name They Grew To Love

Over four and a half years at Holt, our China child match coordinator, Jessica Zeeb, has chosen “advocacy names” for over 1,000 kids on our China waiting child photolisting. Most are temporary names. But among the hundreds of kids who are now home with their families, there are a few who still have the name their parents “grew to love them as.”

Lucie Lenzen, now home, is one of the kids who still has the advocacy name Jessica chose for her.
Lucie Lenzen, now home, is one of the kids who still has the advocacy name Jessica chose for her.

One day, in the spring of 2016, Adam and Jennifer Lenzen decided they wanted to adopt a little girl.

“We didn’t know what the process would look like, but we were looking through the beautiful faces on Holt China’s waiting child photolisting and one little girl caught our eye,” they say.

Her name was “Lucie.” Continue reading “The Name They Grew To Love”

Benjamin’s Turn

Benjamin needs a family

Benjamin needs a family!

Three and a half years ago, Holt learned about seven children who needed families from a small but exceptional orphanage in China. One by one, six of those children were matched with their adoptive families. One by one, they said their goodbyes and left the orphanage to start new lives with their forever families.

Benjamin has been there for every goodbye. He has watched each of his friends be embraced by the families who chose them.

But Benjamin still waits. Continue reading “Benjamin’s Turn”

Top Things To Know About Adopting a Child With ARM

Two adoptive moms share what it’s like to adopt children with a common, though not commonly discussed special need — anorectal malformation, or ARM. Because this is a sensitive need, all names in this article have been changed to protect the children’s privacy.

“William just turned 5 and he is amazing! He is so intelligent, inquisitive and goofy. He keeps us laughing all day because he has such a wonderful sense of humor. He has an amazing imagination and is constantly playing make believe or making up songs. He would be outside all day, every day, if he had a choice. He loves nature, bugs, animals, science, swimming, hiking, camping and getting really dirty.”—Tavia, William’s mom

“Tess is such a blessing. She brings us such joy. She is 6, almost 7 years old, but sometimes we say she is 6 going on 18 because she is so mature for her age. She’s very opinionated and will let you know exactly what she thinks! She doesn’t like going to school because she hates waking up early, but she always has a big smile on her face by the time I pick her up. She is such a beautiful, loquacious little girl.” — Sarah, Tess’s mom Continue reading “Top Things To Know About Adopting a Child With ARM”

Betsy Needs a Family!

Betsy needs a family!

Betsy will take care of you!

In her community, Betsy is known for looking out for others and attending to their needs. When her nanny is tired, she will go fetch a stool for her to sit on. If her foster brother is crying, she will give him snacks to make him happy. She even helps her elderly neighbor with his cane. Needless to say, she is well liked in her neighborhood!

Betsy has Down syndrome, but her cognitive and language development is reported to be above average for children with this developmental special need. Betsy is good at expressing herself and loves to tell stories. She is also quite active and loves to dance (see video below).

A $3000 Special Blessings grant* is available to help cover the fees to adopt Betsy through Holt.

Could you or someone you know be the right family for Betsy? For more information about Betsy, please visit her photolisting profile or contact our child match coordinator, Jessica Zeeb.

Birth Month:  5/2011 | China

*Special Blessings grants are available to families who earn an annual adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less and do not apply to fees already paid to Holt International.  Families who do not qualify for the Special Blessings grant may still apply for our Special Needs Adoption Fund grant.

Happy Birthday Max John Harrison!!

Today, Max turned 14 — the age at which children become ineligible for international adoption from China. Max would have aged out today, losing his chance at a loving, permanent family of his own. Instead, Max is with his family in China, completing his adoption! Below is an email message his mom recently sent our staff, and graciously agreed to share on our blog. Happy Birthday, Max!

Meet Max John Harrison!!! He is so smart!!! He’s a walking history book!! He’s curious, happy, kind, gentle, energetic, did I say smart?

Today we talked about currency, exchange rates, salaries, how many years ago the Chinese were oppressed by the Japanese, World War II, bought some collector’s Chinese bills, some collector’s stamps and coins… talked about buying some history and science textbooks… and so much more!!! Continue reading “Happy Birthday Max John Harrison!!”

The Meaning of TeTe

When Tamara and Lex Price brought home their daughter, Maya, from China, they did not understand why in her grief she kept screaming “TeTe.” Finally, years later, they discovered the meaning of these two syllables — and why they meant so much to Maya. This story originally appeared on Tamara’s blog, thelittlestprice.com.

Reunited foster siblings Maya and Thomas stand smiling together.

“TeTe! TeTe!” From the minute we left the children’s welfare office in Wuhan, our sweet girl screamed for “TeTe” with panic and terror and total heartbreak in her eyes, often until she made herself sick or until she was exhausted and fell asleep. We will never forget her seeing the elevator doors close as her favorite social worker left before we did, and hearing her scream “TeTe” as she tried to pry the elevator doors apart with her delicate little fingers. The look in her eyes as she screamed for him and tried to leave the hotel to go find him, while I, the awful stranger she didn’t even understand blocked the door, will haunt me for the rest of my days.

TeTe. Continue reading “The Meaning of TeTe”

Raymond needs a family!

Raymond needs a family!

There Must Be a Family for Raymond!

Raymond’s caregivers are especially adamant that Raymond is a special boy who needs an adoptive family.  When asked what stands out about him, his caregivers say that he is optimistic and works very hard.

Raymond’s hard work is paying off in school. He attends a public school where his academic performance is excellent and he earns prizes for his good behavior. His favorite subject is math and he likes his math teacher. Continue reading “Raymond needs a family!”